Monday, April 6, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

I have always wanted to visit Joshua Tree National park the funny little tree's fascinate me and I love the remoteness and extreme wilderness of the park. Its actually very accessible to Southern California and it truly is like visiting a different planet. 

The park is at the intersection of two deserts the Colorado and the Mojave. Its a land of extremes being very hot with short bursts of heavy rain. The northern part of the 800,000 acres park features the Joshua tree, legend has it that Mormon explorers thought that the tree's limbs resemble Joshua's out stretched hands leading them to the promised land. 

Indian's passed through the area harvesting Pinyon nuts these are just like the wonderful pine nuts we use in cooking and a key ingredient in pesto. 

Later cattle herders passed through you will enjoy the walk on the hidden valley trail as cattle hustlers hide in this area with its big boulders and hidden nooks. We hiked this trail and were treated to gorgeous cactus blossoms and other wild flowers. 

We relished the small window of tolerable weather and spring beauty before the desert heat kicks in. The trail is rocky and the kids slightly grazed their knee's as the scabs heal I tell our daughter those are the marks of an adventurer and she smiles. 

This is a wonderful trail in the middle of the park with picnic area's there are various trails, that are well marked with interesting signs along the way, most are in the first part.

this was actually on the way to Joshua tree but I just loved these pretty yellow wild flowers and the desert scene. I often think most of southern california would look desert like without the lawns and irrigation and with the drought I think we will see a lot more desert landscaping, with drought resistant flowers, cacti and boulders it can look great.

Joshua tree is full of amazing rock formations and a climbers paradise

stunning wild flowers

Indian paint brush after I tweeted this picture the lovely social media staff at the park tweeted back the name 

The mighty Joshua tree, its soft to touch and very slow growing 

Cholla cactus in the Sonoran desert part of the park, a food source for a wren and other desert creatures and native to this area. Be careful apparently the spines are almost impossible to get out

Our visit to Joshua tree National park was magic, America is a vast and beautiful continent with an amazing network of parks, that are awe inspiring and well managed

go have an adventure :-) 

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